Pigeons have been domesticated for various reasons which include food, exhibitions, entertainment, sporting/racing, and competitive breeding. Since ancient times, pigeons have made contributions to human lives, the greatest among them was at times of war. They were used as messengers for communication because of their brilliant homing ability. Even, the very first bird to be domesticated was a rock pigeon.
In the present, pigeons are considered great pets and companions to humans. They are intelligent, loyal, and beautiful. Some pigeon breeds can easily be tamed and bred. These smart creatures are easy-going birds as they quickly learn household routines. They do fine with other pets, hence, can also be raised with different pets.
5 Best pet pigeon breeds
There are many reasons to keep pigeons as pets. They are peaceful, attractive, smart, and friendly. They not only adjust easily with humans but also love to interact with them. Many popular pigeon breeds are raised by humans for various purposes. The following are the 5 best pet pigeon breeds :
King pigeons are one of the most beautiful breeds of pigeons. They are domesticated pigeons descended from the rock pigeon (Columba livia). They are large which makes them appropriate for maximum meat yield. Therefore, king pigeons are bred for their meat. They are also popularly kept for exhibition purposes, hence they are also known as “show kings”.
King pigeons are great as pets as they are very domestic, calm, and smart. They are very adaptable which makes them very easy to tame. Their inability to fly lowers the risk of leaving their owner when set free. They are not as hyperactive as many other birds, instead, they are cool and mellow as birds. Therefore, in a busy schedule, you do not always have to give them attention.
King pigeons make great pets indoors as well as outdoors. However, it’s important to keep them in a protected enclosure; a walk-in-aviary is the best for the outdoors. They adjust amazingly with humankind and make sweet and excellent pets. The following are the details about king pigeons:
- A mature king pigeon weighs up to 30 to 37 ounces.
- The white king pigeons are most preferred, however, they also appear in different colors such as red, yellow, black, and dun.
- They easily adjust in all climates.
- They aren’t rare, hence can easily be adopted or bought.
- Both Males and females look very identical to each other but close observation usually gives clear identification.
The homing pigeons are another descendant of rock pigeons, especially known for their ability to find a way back home over extremely long distances. They use magnetoreception for this purpose. Hence, they were used as messengers in the early times of wars for communication.
The homing pigeons make intelligent and smart pets. They will require extra care and attention than other birds. People who are ready to invest their time and care usually prefer these pigeons. They can be exclusively trained appropriately. Once they become familiar with the place they live, they can be set free as they can return to their home.
Related Read: How Much is a Homing Pigeon Worth?
Keeping homer pigeons as pets is a good choice as you can train and tame them easily. They also are great racing pigeons. Hence, they can be trained to participate in many racing events. Homing pigeons are talented and extraordinary birds. With good care and affection, these adorable pigeons can be excellent pets. The following are the details about them:
- With an average size, they are slim and slender in shape.
- They possess strong wing muscles and a chest area.
- They have clear, clean, and reddish eyes and legs.
- Originated in Belgium, they are suitable for all climatic regions.
These birds are a popular breed of pigeons. They have a unique appearance. Fantail pigeons have a tail, composed of about 35 to 40 feathers, which appears like a fan. They are also descendants of domestic rock pigeons, developed by selective breeding. They are estimated as one of the oldest fancy pigeon breeds.
People pet them because of their looks and appearance. They do not fly much which makes them even more suitable as house pets. However, keeping them safe from cats and other predators is necessary. They are calm and gentle birds, thus can easily be tamed. Fantail pigeons are pretty long-lived birds with an average lifespan of about 10 to 20 years. So, it’s a commitment to keep them as pets.The following are the details related to them:
- Medium in size, they weigh up to 370 grams.
- Mostly found in white color, however, there are more colors introduced in fantail pigeons such as red, yellow, blue, silver, black, and even checkers are also seen.
- They have a small crest and upright chest.
These pigeons are descendants of the rock pigeons which can tumble or roll backward while flying. This ability was seen in pigeons for centuries. Even Charles Darwin had mentioned in his book, the origin of species, about the short-faced tumbler. They have been used in exhibitions since ancient times.
These ancient pigeons make good pets as they are domestic. They do not trouble a lot, hence it becomes easy to maintain them as pets. They are one of the varieties of fancy pigeons, therefore, it’s obvious that they are attractive, beautiful, and colorful.
Tumblers can be trained and tamed as house pets. They are low maintenance pets, hence, are considered as one of the best pigeon breeds for raising as pets. The following are the details about them:
They have extremely short faces with round heads and are found in many colors.
They weigh around 140 to 155 grams.
These pigeons possess a good flying ability.
The beak of these pigeons can be of short or medium length.
Related Read: Do pigeons fly at night?
Barb, a breed of fancy pigeons, is a descendant of the rock pigeons that are developed by selective breeding for many years. They originated from the United Kingdom. This old breed was developed in England around the 1600s. However, many people believe that they were imported into Europe from a place in North Africa named as Barbary.
The most distinguishable characteristic of barbs is their appearance. They have wattling around their eyes and beak. This wattling then develops into the fleshy ring around their eyes. Their appearance is the main reason that people love to raise them as pets.The following are the details about them:
- They are small to medium size birds, having short faces.
- The average height of these birds is up to 13.4 inches and weighs around 370 grams.
- They thrive in native climates.
Related Read: How to Care for Pigeons | Pigeon Keeping for Beginners
What breed of pigeon makes the best pet?
Pigeons breed such as kings, tumblers, fantails, barbs, and homers make really good pets as all of them are domestic pigeons. They are easy to breed and tame. Domestic pigeons cannot survive in the wild, hence, they thrive as home pets. They are adjusting in nature which helps to get along with other birds as well.
The other breeds which make the best pet are:
- Archangel Pigeon
- Dragoon Pigeon
- Ice Pigeon
- Oriental Frill
- Dutch Cropper
- Saxon Spot